NASCAR Cup Series
By PJ Walsh
The Action Network
2 Minute Read
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As a fan, I’m very much looking forward to Sunday’s eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series race at Talladega. As a bettor, I don’t know what to think.
Superspeedways, like Talladega, produce pack racing, which, in turn, makes it much more unpredictable than most other racetracks. Will this translate to similar racing at virtual Talladega? I honestly don’t know.
However, from a handicapping perspective, I’m going to treat it similarly and look further down the odds board for double-digit values instead of hammering favorites, like I have so far during the iRacing Pro Invitational Series.
With this in mind, here are two drivers I’m betting to win Sunday’s Geico 70 (1 p.m. ET on FOX, FS1 and FOX Sports app) at Talladega.
Kligerman is an avid sim racer and it has shown through four eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series races.
Only Timmy Hill (2.3) and Garrett Smithley (8.5) have a better average finish than Kligerman (8.8) through four races. In fact, Kligerman has gotten better every race with finishes of 13th, 12th, seventh and third.
Additionally, Kligerman finished second in Tuesday’s Replacement Series iRacing event at Talladega, so he’s getting plenty of practice for Sunday’s race.
While I’m not sure how much (or how little) on-track racing at Talladega will translate to virtual ‘Dega, I do feel confident that the experienced sim racers will have a clear advantage in one key aspect: green flag pit spots.
There’s no guarantee Sunday’s race will require drivers to pit under green, but if they do, those with experience pulling out of a large draft, getting down to pit road speed, then back out onto the racetrack without speeding or spinning out will have a key advantage over those newer to sim racing.
Kligerman’s iRacing experience, plus the time he’s putting in this week to prepare, makes him one of the drivers who should be able maximize time getting on and off pit road.
That, as well as his performance in this series so far, make him a really nice option at 14-1 odds.
[Bet now at DraftKings. NJ and WV only.]
Basically, everything I said about Kligerman above applies to Smithley as well.
Garrett has a ton of iRacing experience, has the second-best average finish in the Pro Invitational Series (8.5) and ran Tuesday’s Replacement Series race, finishing third.
For all of those reasons, I’m grabbing Smithley at 14-1.